McLaren issues hands-off Vandoorne warning to F1 rivals

Ron Dennis has issued a clear hands-off warning to McLaren's Formula 1 rivals, stating that reserve driver Stoffel Vandoorne will not be leaving the team

McLaren issues hands-off Vandoorne warning to F1 rivals

Vandoorne said earlier this month there was "definitely some interest around" in his services, but underlined that his intention was to be on the F1 grid with McLaren next year.

McLaren has Fernando Alonso under contract for 2017, however Jenson Button's current deal with the team only extends to the end of this season.

McLaren Group CEO Dennis is adamant no decision has been made on the driver-line-up for next year, but despite that has felt it prudent to ward off those looking to grab Vandoorne.

Dennis said: "Stoffel is an extremely talented, intelligent and hard-working young driver, with an enormous amount of potential, and who importantly knows how to win.

"As such he's an integral part of McLaren-Honda's future, and any other team that imagines they may be able to poach him away from us is very much mistaken.

"As regards our 2017 driver line-up, we aren't yet ready to commit or communicate, but you may rest assured that Stoffel is not for sale."

Last year's GP2 champion is currently competing in Japan's Super Formula thanks to Honda's links, and made a considerable impression on his F1 debut in Bahrain when standing in for an injured Alonso.

After outqualifying Button, Vandoorne went on to score McLaren's first points of the year by finishing 10th at the Sakhir circuit.

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